“What Syria withdrawal? There was never a Syria withdrawal,” Jeffrey said.


" … even as he praises the president’s support of what he describes as a successful “realpolitik” approach to the region, he acknowledges that his team routinely misled senior leaders about troop levels in Syria. 

“We were always playing shell games to not make clear to our leadership how many troops we had there,” Jeffrey said in an interview. The actual number of troops in northeast Syria is “a lot more than” the roughly two hundred troops Trump initially agreed to leave there in 2019.    Defense One


"We?"  Who are "We?"  

State Department people?  Well, certainly some of those were involved.

But … IMO it would not have been possible to deceive or mislead the WH and specifically the Commander in Chief without the active cooperation of CENTCOM, the JCS and OSD.

If they had not been participating in the lying, it would have been obvious in any number of interactions with President Trump that the president's understanding of  troop numbers in Syria was not correct and that he was being deceived by "we." (whoever that was).  That revelation evidently did not happen.  The NSC staff should have detected the lack of truth in reported numbers.  That it did not tells me that at least some of the NSC staff were disloyal to Trump.  Obvious?  Yes, but that is worth re-stating. 

James Jeffrey is quite proud of his achievement in maintaining a "realpolik" stalemate in Syria, one that stymies both Russia and the Syrian government.  

IMO opinion he is revealed by his own words as a treacherous back stabber.  "Un hombre sin honor."  pl


This entry was posted in Borg Wars, Middle East, Syria. Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to “What Syria withdrawal? There was never a Syria withdrawal,” Jeffrey said.

  1. Polish Janitor says:

    This is exactly the result of Trump’s lack of interest in fulfilling his original promise of ending the “forever wars” in the middle east. This is exactly the result of putting opelny-Democrat Jared Kushner (a lifelong member of Chabad-Lubavich network) and his ilk in charge of the middle east geopolitics.
    It also clearly proves that the State Dep. is a monsterous autonomous entity with its own permanent objectives and agendas, independent of the WH. No matter what Trump wanted to achieve in the ME, the so-called Blob (or as Col. Lang here has coined as the “BORG”) do what they will. You have to also remember that back in ’17, career diplomats and high-ranking State Dep. officials sounded the alarm that Rex Tillerson was down-sizing the Department so much and that it was contrary to American interests abroad etc…fast forward to today, it would not have mattered how much down-sizing Tillerson actually managed to do, they (people like Jeffries) were still able to pursue their own agenda and undermine Trump’s original promise of ending the forever wars in the middle east.
    The liberal elites managed to ‘allegedly’ manipulate the election against a sitting president in favor of an highly unappealing candidate in Joe Biden. In all honesty, does anyone think the Blob/Borg would NOT undermine the president’s agenda and follow their own permanent objectives aboard?

  2. Trump should be furious about this. He should be firing everyone involved in the deception. Those involved don’t belong in ANY administration. Was convincing Trump that he was getting the Syrian oil part of this despicable con? As you mentioned last night, this deception is probably also going on in Afghanistan. This is a clear sign of a totally dysfunctional nation security apparatus… Trump’s national security apparatus. Could Trump find no one he could trust to carry out his orders? Or did he just not even care? He certainly wasn’t up to the task.
    However, our troop level in Syria has been widely and openly reported to be above the 200 level since Trump’s initial announcement of a total pull out in December 2018. I thought it was odd when shortly after that it was announced that more troops were being sent in to facilitate the withdrawal of the 2,000 plus troops already there. We did reduce the level somewhat, but then we brought in mech infantry with their Bradleys to secure the oil fields and later more to counter the Russian patrols in northeast Syria. And isn’t counting whatever we have in Tanf.

  3. Fred says:

    “He should be firing everyone involved in the deception”
    He just fired Esper. “Trump’s national security apparatus.” You mean America’s natonal security apparatus, the one that gave us LTC Vindman and that crew of Ambassadors, and the ‘whistlebolower’ Chief Justice Robert’s wouldn’t let any senator name nor ask questions about during the impeachment. You remember all that don’t you? I’m sure the same cast of characters Biden would bring back if he succeeds in the rigged election would never do that to him.

  4. JM Gavin says:

    COL(R) Mark Mitchell stated the following recently, regarding the duties and responsibilities of the SECDEF in response to POTUS directives. The comments were in regard to Acting SECDEF Miller (a longtime friend and colleague of Mitchell), but apply to any Cabinet or sub-Cabinet post:
    “He [POTUS] may make decisions that other people disagree with. They have two options: they can do what he directs them to do, or after they’ve offered their advice, if they find it illegal, immoral, unethical, unadvisable, they can step down,” retired Col. Mark Mitchell, who most recently served in the Pentagon as the principal deputy assistant defense secretary for special operations/low-intensity conflict.
    Mitchell added that he resented the implication at the defense secretary should be expected to stand up to the president, or in his way, as the duly elected commander in chief.
    “You either carry out your lawful orders or you resign,” he said. “We don’t get the option to ‘stand up to him.’ ”(End of quote)
    Unfortunately, President Trump made many poor personnel decisions, and selected people who believed they had the duty and right to work against the President from within the Administration. This has driven me nuts for the last four years, as I have watched senior civilian and uniformed leaders actively undermining the Commander-in-Chief. They weren’t subtle about it. For whatever reason, they mostly got away with it.
    To be clear, I am not writing this as a Trump supporter. As a career military professional, I have a duty to support the Commander-in-Chief, and obey lawful orders from the Commander-in-Chief.
    It is very easy to play shell games with the BOG caps in the war zones.

  5. Deap says:

    Looking forward to a reprise of Trump’s former starring role in The Apprentice, and finally uttering yet again his immortal words: You’re Fired!
    The final days of Trump’s first term are going to be awesome. Banish the Borg. BAMN. Put Biden’s fingerprints on any re-hiring.
    Typically a new CEO will ask for everyone’s resignation, and select and cull according to new needs and new directions. Something Trump should have done, but he too was the apprentice in this office when his term began.
    Nothing to stop Trump from doing this now in reverse, and finally cleaning out the dross that was dedicated to his administration’s destruction. Better late than never. Our country deserves nothing less. These insider traitors deserve to have their termination for cause permanently be part in their career resumes.

  6. j says:

    It appears that POTUS Trump once his re-election is affirmed, urgently needs to fire a large percentage of top-level ranks at the Pentagon, fire the CENTCOM CC and his staff, fire the JCS, close down the NSC until it’s thoroughly bleached, and charge all of them under the UCMJ. Bust them down to slick-sleeves and show them the door. How many back-stabbing Vindman types remain within the NSC? They need to be fired and prosecuted under the UCMJ as well.

  7. Robert G Spenser says:

    As a citizen I am having great difficulty not concluding that the US is showing all the signs of decline like the late Roman Republic.
    James Jeffrey along with the rest of the herd that have run one agitprop disinformation scheme after another since the 2016 election are like the roman senators that had the intent to save the Republic but fatally weakened it by killing Caesar at its very center, in the Senate.
    Biden’s people are openly calling for even more internet censorship and continuing to rush out inherently dangerous mRNA vaccines without proper testing – and may force us to take it. Groups are starting to create a database of Trump supporters to enable censoring them where they work and live – what is this other than terrorism against half the voting population? If just five percent of the 70M that voted for Trump moves together in resistance then the new regime herd will be holding a tiger by is tail and with the election showing the people are split right down the middle I fail to see how we can avoid even much worse chaos the next four years. The American Republic is disintegrating while the herd is having a romp and thinks it is winning while they are its assassins.
    I am sick at heart of this and fear for the future of my children whose standard of living opportunities are in free-fall.

  8. JM Gavin says:

    Robert G Spenser,
    As the saying goes:
    Good times create soft men.
    Soft men create hard times.
    Hard times create hard men.
    Hard men create good times.
    Rinse, wash, repeat until your civilization starts to outsource the hard men.

  9. Fredw says:

    We are shocked, SHOCKED! that military bureaucrats are acting in the same ways that they always have. Come on now. The job of president is to get all these people to work in concert to an extent adequate for getting things to come out mostly in our favor. None of this is unique to Trump. Nearly every president in my lifetime has had to learn to deal with these aspects of the military. Jimmy Carter trusted them to plan a rescue mission. They used navy pilots for a mission over the desert! With no extra to enable adaptation to events! Ronald Reagan sent a battleship to Lebanon and then found out the brass wouldn’t take the risk of actually using it for anything. Not to mention the superbly uncoordinated near simultaneous invasion of Grenada. John Kennedy accepted a duplicitous projection of events for the bay of pigs. Bill Clinton got caught in Somalia. George W. got sucked into a strategically unplanned invasion of Iraq. Obama was told that an 18-month escalation would resolve Afghanistan. He believed it! Boy were they shocked when he actually enforced the deadline. This is not a criticism of any of those presidents. It is normal, however bizarre that may sound. My point is that they mostly get bit once and learn not to trust the military’s own estimates of what they can or should do. Then they begin to do the job more adequately. They learn to pay attention to goals and to manage their resources. Trump does not seem capable of this kind of learning. The last months of an administration are not the time to suddenly discover the nature of the organizations you are leading. And in any case, there is no time left for learning how to get actual results.

  10. Deap says:

    JFK never should have unionized the government workforce.
    Pits existential self-interests against patriotic national interest, should these interests become in conflict. FDR warned against doing this. More attention needs to be paid to this fundamental national turning point.
    What ills were cured by this act (EO) and has the cure become worse than the perceived disease. Must like term limits in California – the cure was 100 times worse than the original disease.
    Entrenched political personalities come and go; entrenched and corrupted political systems are forever, because in the process they learned to self-perpetuate.
    Much like HAL in the movie 2001.

  11. Deap says:

    Name your favorite EO to strike down with an counter-mand EO, before a sitting president leaves office:
    1. Anchor baby citizenship triggering chain migration
    2. Unionized government workforce

  12. Deap says:

    2016: Democrat Game Plan:
    1. Use Democrat’s standard politics of personal destruction to attack and harass any Trump appointments; make working for the Trump administration so undesirable none dare even ask for consideration.
    2. Tie up the President’s time with endless personal attacks, lies and investigations, so Trump has no time as elected Chief Executive to oversee and clean up valid government operations;
    3. Take advantage of Trump’s exclusively private sector experience to lull Trump into thinking entrenched government BORGs are loyal government employees, who serve only to help Trump carry out his Executive Office duties;
    4. Leak like crazy; make things up if necessary that ensure the Trump administration narrative appears chaotic and dysfunctional. Claim anonymous sources that undermine positive functioning within Trump administration. Make everyone suspicious of everyone else.
    5. Obliterate any recognition for the remarkable Trump administration accomplishments that occurred, regardless of all of the above.
    6. Pout relentlessly because regardless of the above, the President and the GOP Senate appointed over 200 new federal judge and 3 new SCOTUS members.
    7. In full public view, tear up the SOTU address listing remarkable administration accomplishments mouthing – these are all lies — laying down the gauntlet for all out war.
    8. Gin up pandemic hysteria to fill in any and all loopholes not yet covered by all of the above.
    Democrat skullduggery may have effectively destroyed an temporal administration, but Trump Judiciary appointments are the equivalent of a very welcomed forever.
    President Trump, you are missed already. But I suspect in short order it is you, who will not miss the office. You are enshrined forever – #45 as President of the United States of America. History will treat you far kinder than your current fellow citizens.
    You broke up the Democrat plantation. You exposed the dark underbelly of the body politic. Mission accomplished. There is no going back.

  13. J says:

    DHS head Chad Wolf is another anti-Trump in sheep’s clothing that Trump needs to get rid of ASAP.

  14. james says:

    this sounds like the definition of a traitor to me – jeffery…. on the other hand one could say he is working for wall st and the mil complex and has done a good job… which is it??

  15. Yeah, Right says:

    I don’t understand this. Trump is the Commander in Chief, at any time he could have asked a straight-up question: How. Many. Troops. Do. We. Still. Have. In. Syria?
    I find it astonishing that the military leadership would tell a lie to their Commander in Chief when the question itself leaves no wriggle-room.
    Heck, Trump could has asked for a list of every single one of those brave 200 boys, and even if it included Name, Rank, and Serial Number that would still fit on a single letter-sized printout.
    I can’t understand how Jeffrey’s and his band of “we’s” could get away with this unless Trump wasn’t paying any attention at all.

  16. turcopolier says:

    Yeah, right
    Yes. He trusted people as I would never have done.

  17. Mike C says:

    Questions for the committee:
    What legal recourse if any is there against Jeffery or his fellow travelers?
    How might Trump “put a kink in the hose” to hobble a potential Biden admin from putting us back into these quagmires?
    I’m not at all surprised to see MSM sniping now at Col. Macgregor.

  18. JM Gavin says:

    Mike C,
    Trump really has no legal recourse in this situation. The “Boots on the Ground” limits (called BOG caps within DoD) are written in such a manner to allow the COCOM Cdr maximum flexibility. This flexibility wasn’t designed to deceive, but someone unfamiliar with the details is easily deceived.
    Trump’s actions overseas hobble potential Biden actions already, but can be reversed rather easily. Unfortunately, the fix Biden’s folks will apply just requires spending, which they will be happy to do.
    Take Afghanistan as an example. Trump has greatly accelerated the drawdown, but it isn’t complete, and won’t possibly be complete by January 20 (it is unrealistic to expect a complete drawdown by then). What Trump orders removed from the country, Biden can order put back in.
    Had Trump completely withdrawn the U.S. presence already, the story would be different.
    Unfortunately, Trump signed a conditions-based agreement with the Taliban, and we have continued to drawdown even though conditions were not met. This has reinforced something the Taliban already knew; they can outlast us. While Trump has acted to end our involvement in Afghanistan, he did so in a short-sighted manner which all but guarantees Taliban victory.
    Trump did not start post-9/11 U.S. military adventurism, but he also hasn’t acted consistently and intelligently during his time commanding the debacles. His foreign policy is a mixed bag of successes and failures around the world, but none of the successes involve Afghanistan and Syria.

  19. Fred,
    So you don’t think Trump has to take responsibility for any of this? He is in charge of this American national security apparatus and has been for four years. He appointed Jeffrey to that position even after Jeffrey admitted he didn’t vote for Trump and said Trump “would put at risk our country’s national security and well-being.” It’s all on Trump for lacking the curiosity to question Jeffrey’s pronouncements. As commander in chief, Trump also failed to demand straight answers from SecDef or CINCCENTCOM. I think he just failed to ask the questions. Too bad he friends at Fox News or OANN didn’t ask the questions. There was plenty of reporting for the last few years that cast serious doubt on there being only 200 US troops in Syria.

  20. J,
    Chad Wolf can’t fire Chris Krebs. Only Trump can do that. He nominated Krebs for that position and the Senate approved him. Wolf has his own problems about the illegitimacy of his orders and his position at DHS.

  21. Eric Newhill says:

    Who gives a flying f*uck of a fat rat’s *ss if the Taliban are guaranteed victory?
    My son, now 100% disabled from a head wound received in Afghanistan, my daughter (Navy intel, DIA, many accommodations for this and that in GWOT), all the young vets I have met at the VA and elsewhere, consistently tell me that the ANA can’t even be taught to do a push-up or to use a toilet, let alone to be effective infantry. Screw them. If they don’t want to de-Talibanize their country, then let them be under Taliban rule. It’s been 19 years. When would the ability of the Taliban to wait us out cease? Just more classic bone headed DoD thinking.
    As much as I dislike Islam and despise jihadis, IMO, they are becoming enemies of my enemies; i.e. the globalist imperialists. They are part of the resistance.
    Let’s see how military recruitment goes in light of Biden/Harris as CinC, an increasingly PC and gay military and more endless pointless wars.

  22. Fred says:

    I agree with the Col., he trusted people he should not have trusted. Politically he would have found it hard to fire a whole lot of them, especially as all that Russia Coup was still going on. There’s nothing to stop him now. Firing a whole lot of people right now would be a good start to his second term.

  23. Fredw says:

    “He appointed Jeffrey to that position even after Jeffrey admitted he didn’t vote for Trump …”
    Wrong question, although it looms large in Trump’s mind and those of many of our commenters. Wrong focus. Donald Trump is the president of the United States. He appoints people to do jobs in the ways he thinks they should be done. At some point he thought that Jeffrey was the man for one of those jobs. Now he doesn’t think so. He is not to be second guessed on those points. Making those judgements and managing the results is his job for which he is given enormous authority. On the other hand, the results are the president’s responsibility. It is no good to say after the fact that someone did not live up to expectations. The president’s job is to make it come out right. That is a very hard job and concepts such as “loyal” or “fair” have nothing to do with it. Results are what he was elected for and what he needs to answer for. He didn’t do the (hard) work to know what was really happening. The results are what anyone who pays attention to the history would expect. The buck stops with the president. Like a ship commander, he is responsible regardless of the details.
    The moral outrage is misplaced. Jeffrey is Trump’s man. It is up Trump to get results from him or replace him.

  24. fredw says:

    “Firing a whole lot of people right now would be a good start to his second term.”
    That is ridiculous. Firing a whole lot of people right now would simply detail the areas in which he acknowledges that he has failed as a manager of the country’s interests. Every re-elected president has some areas which haven’t worked out as well as he hoped. But the pentagon and homeland security are pretty important to our country’s well being. Failure in those constitutes a pretty strong argument against a second term.
    Now if he can actually accomplish something in the time remaining by replacing those people, that would be a different story. I don’t get the feeling that such an intention is the point, but … He is still the president.

  25. JM Gavin says:

    Erik Newhill,
    I give a flying f*uck of a fat rat’s *ss that the Taliban are guaranteed victory.

  26. Mike C says:

    Thanks for the reply, mirrors what I was thinking, sadly.

  27. Eric Newhill says:

    Well hot damn. Good for you General.
    Good to see that you do have personal opinions after all. I wasn’t buying the whole, “I just humbly do as ordered” presentation.
    Maybe you could wrangle up a little private funding and make like “the Man Who Would Be King” and fix the whole miserable country once for all.

  28. Fred says:

    “He is still the president.” That is the point, and he can and should fire a bunch of people regardless of pending lawsuits, recounts and future fraud.

  29. JM Gavin says:

    Eric Newhill,
    Your son isn’t the only person that left something behind in Afghanistan. I respect your apathy about Afghanistan. I also respect your right to completely disregard anything I think about Afghanistan. You asked a question, and I answered it.
    Your son was not drafted. It is a volunteer military. Professional military personnel do what they are told (your son and daughter can enlighten you about that).
    It appears you and I have nothing to discuss.

Comments are closed.